Epilepsy Management

Epilepsy Management

Epilepsy is a neurological condition that affects the brain and causes repeated seizures. The severity of seizures differs from person to person. It causes seizures, temporary episodes that often include twitching and convulsion. These seizures happen when the electrical impulses in the brain sends erratic signals. It can usually be managed well through medication and other treatments. Epilepsy, although can affect anyone, often begins young around the age of 5-20. While there’s no cure for the disease, it can be managed efficiently with medications and other strategies.

Treatment Options

  • Anti-epileptic medications
  • Surgery

What are the symptoms of Epilepsy?

Alterations to sense of taste
Alterations to sense of taste, smell, sight, hearing, or touch
Dizziness 1
Tingling and twitching of limbs
Loss of consciousness
Loss of awareness or consciousness
Staring blankly
Staring blankly
Performing repetitive movements
Performing repetitive movements
Muscle stiffness
Muscle stiffness
Loss of muscle control
Loss of muscle control
Repeated, jerky muscle movements of the face, neck, and arms
Repeated jerky muscle movements
Spontaneous quick twitching of the arms and legs
Loss of bladder control
Loss of bladder control
Lip smacking or blinking

Focal Seizures

  • Simple Partial Seizure
  • Complex Partial Seizure

Generalised Seizures

  • Absence seizures
  • Tonic seizures
  • Atonic seizures
  • Clonic seizures
  • Myoclonic seizures
  • Tonic – clonic seizures

For about 6 out of 10 people, the cause of epilepsy can not be determined.

However, possible causes include

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Scarring on brain after a brain injury
  • Serious illness or very high fever
  • Stroke
  • Other vascular diseases
  • Lack of oxygen to the brain
  • Brain tumor or cyst
  • Dementia or Alzheimers
  • Maternal drug use, prenatal injury, brain malformation or lack of oxygen at birth
  • Infectious diseases
  • Genetic or developmental disorders or neurological diseases

Epilepsy is diagnosed when the patient presents more than one seizure and requires a complete description of seizure from the patient or someone who witnessed the event. Along with this, diagnostic tests have to be carried out to determine the affected area of the brain.

The diagnostic tests that have to be performed

  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) – to measure the electrical activity of the brain
  • Cerebrospinal fluid analysis
  • CT, MRI
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
  • Neuropsychological tests
  • Liver kidney function tests
  • Complete blood count
  • Blood glucose
  • Tests to diagnose the presence of infectious diseases
  • Age
  • Family history
  • Head injuries
  • Stroke and other vascular diseases
  • Dementia
  • Brain infections
  • Seizures in childhood

Physical and neurological examination of the patient along with the history of head trauma plays a vital role in establishing the diagnosis of post – traumatic seizure. This diagnosis should be verified by video – EEG monitoring